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Canadian university offers full tuition refund

Ontario Tech University’s Experience Guarantee will refund all full-time and part-time students who are unsatisfied with the fall 2020 university experience.

The guarantee applies to students enrolled in its fall 2020 term. A full refund will be given to students who withdraw from their programme by Friday, Oct. 9, with no penalty.

Provost and Vice-President Lori Livingston said, “Blended learning has long been a part of what we do at Ontario Tech University.

“When we opened our doors in 2003, we did so with a commitment to a technology-enabled learning environment, while recognising the valuable role hands-on learning plays in preparing our graduates for the workplace. With the introduction of the new Experience Guarantee, students can be certain Ontario Tech stands behind its commitment to support them throughout their academic journey.”

The University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology is a public research university located in the city of Oshawa in Ontario. Founded in 2002, it is now one of the nation’s top universities for engineering and computer science, placing in the top 10 of rankings.

What will fall 2020 term look like at Ontario Tech?

Expect a blended-learning approach.

This means students will receive a combination of online and hands-on learning on campus “where possible”. The latter will follow the Government of Ontario and public-health guidelines. The university anticipates the majority of learning will be online, however.

“Universities, high schools, elementary schools have always relied on face-to-face instruction and this is a huge disruption,” Livingston said, as reported by The Star. “If there’s any hesitation, we want to help students understand that we believe we have a quality experience and are willing to back it up.”

Ontario Tech’s online learning will encompass both real-time and recorded lectures, as well as course material and a wide range of academic content. Digital platforms, program-specific software and mobile applications will be the tools to support this.

Labs, simulations, practicals, and research activities will likely continue in-person.

The university also said students can “make lasting connections” both online and in-person through peer-leader programming, health and wellness activities, clubs and societies. Support services — such financial aid, accessibility services, and mental and physical health services, career planning, counseling and more — will continue.

Course schedules and information about the blended-learning approach for the fall and winter terms are now available. Students can start registering courses in late June.

Is this the only Canadian university offering tuition refund?

Ontario Tech stands out as one of the first Canadian university to offer a full tuition refund.

Many Canadian colleges and universities have announced a blended-learning approach, but not tuition reductions due to this.

Canada’s most populous province is in the midst of the first of its three-stage reopening of its economy. Retail stores can now open; construction projects and some park amenities can resume too.

Ontario Tech joins other post-secondary institutions offering a blended-learning model this fall: Conestoga College, Durham College, Fanshawe College, Fleming College, King’s University College, Nipissing University, Ryerson University, Saint Paul University, St Lawrence College, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, University of Windsor, Western University, Wilfrid Laurier University, York University.

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